RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander business is the first to be certified "autism friendly" by the Autism Society of Central Wisconsin.
The event included refreshments, speeches and even a ceremony where a certification sticker was put on the window.
Tom's Drawing Board owner Tom Barnett says it's not about his business getting certified; he's encouraging other area-businesses to get certified too.
"Autism friendly is just a place where the parent with an autistic child can go to knowing that their child is having a sensory overload, that is a judgmental free area," said Barnett.
When Barnett went through the training process, he was shocked to learn that he was the first business to complete the certification.
"I was a little shocked and I think that's part of the whole awareness thing because it is an easy process to do and something that's needed up here," said Barnett.
Barnett found out later that this initiative started in December 2019. Businesses that are interested in becoming certified autism friendly can contact the Autism Society of Central Wisconsin and Barnett for advice.
You can contact the Autism Society of Central Wisconsin at (920) 558-4602.
RHINELANDER - With flights well below capacity during the coronavirus outbreak, the waiting area at the Rhinelander-Oneida County airport is empty, at a time when airport director Matthew Leitner says twice-daily flights from Rhinelander to Minneapolis are usually pretty full.
"This time of year, we're usually seeing about 60 percent [full]" Leitner said. "Of course, we're pretty far below that now."
According to Leitner, Rhinelander's airport is far from alone.
"Whether it's Chicago or Boston or Las Vegas or Salt Lake City, everyone's down 75 to 90 percent and I don't think we're an exception," Leitner said.
WISCONSIN - Gov. Tony Evers issued his "Safer at Home" order on March 24, but according to a recent survey by Unacast.com, Wisconsinites received a mediocre grade when it comes to social distancing.
The interactive map breaks down the entire nation on a county-by-county basis and assigns a letter grade for how well people appear to be practicing social distancing.
According to the data firm company, Wisconsin received the grade of "D" after studies show that residents of Wisconsin only cut down their travel by about 19%.
In a blog post by CEO and Co-founder Thomas Walle: "If we don't take these measures, tens of millions will be infected, many will die, along with anybody else that requires intensive care, because the healthcare system will have collapsed."
ONEIDA CO. - Friday, Gov. Tony Evers called on the State Legislature to send an absentee ballot to every Wisconsin voter ahead of the April 7 Presidential Primary. However, Republican state leaders say the plan is simply not feasible.
About 1,400 absentee ballots were requested in Oneida County during the 2016 presidential primary. This year, that number has jumped to 4,000, as more people are looking to avoid voting in person.
Next Thursday, April 2, is the last day to request an absentee ballot from your municipal clerk. Oneida County Clerk Tracy Hartman encourages people to request it earlier than that. Under current laws, the ballot must return to the polling location by election day, on April 7.
"If you wait till April 2nd to request it," said Oneida County Clerk Tracy Hartman. "And if something happens with the mail and its delayed a day, your ballot may not get there. So we're encouraging everybody to get their requests in as quick as possible."
You can request an absentee ballot by going to MyVote.wi.gov. For now, there will still be in-person voting, despite the Safer at Home order.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County Health Department Director Linda Conlon confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Oneida County. The individual is in their 20s with a known history of travel. According to Conlon, the patient has been compliant with instructions from health officials and is currently in isolation.
We will have more details as they are made available by the county.
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